Season Tickets in the 21st Century

Monday, 1 May 2023

It was back in 1970/71 that I first became a season ticket holder at Ewood Park as 50% of what was then curiously advertised as a "Father & Son Ticket" - clearly football was considered to be the domain of the male of the species and was marketed as such. Thankfully we live in more enlightened times now.

That season ticket  gave you access to a nominated seat for each home league fixture and that was pretty much that. In the old second division, that meant 21 home games, relegation to the 3rd division resulted in 23 home fixtures, scant consolation for the pain of the demotion. 

In the intervening fifty years or so, the nature of modern society and the surrounding economy has evolved to the point where significant structural changes have resulted in for instance; some shops being open 24/7, the working week potentially involving shift combinations across all seven days, and post-pandemic, large parts of the working population conducting their business from home. 

The revolution in televised football means that the 3pm, Saturday afternoon kick off is slowly becoming the exception rather than the norm. The income received from Sky is substantial and the trade-off is that the TV companies will schedule fixtures for the benefit of their viewers not the fans of the respective clubs.

The competition for the leisure pound is greater now than ever and football fans are not immune from cost-of-living pressures. Recognising all of those factors - just how relevant is a season ticket proposition that remains virtually identical to that offered half a century ago ? 

One of the emerging modern trends is for use without ownership, leading increasingly to subscription pricing models; e.g. Netflix as opposed to DVD ownership, Spotify/Apple Music as opposed to CD ownership and even the software used to type this piece is courtesy of a Microsoft 365 subscription. 

Gym memberships often have different price points to encourage use in off-peak periods &/or to encourage the member to bring along a guest for instance. The modern consumer is far more familiar (& possibly more comfortable) with this concept than the rather quaint notion of "saving up for it and buying it outright" which was the sage advice passed onto me by my grandmother !

A recent pre-match conversation at Ewood generated some really interesting debate and with it creative ideas and when shared on the Forum at BRFCS.com the thread certainly seemed to capture the imagination.


What were the sorts of ideas suggested ?


  • Midweek Only / Weekend Only season tickets - so many fans cannot travel to midweek games or alternatively have weekend jobs that a full season ticket will never make economic sense. Have an area of the ground dedicated to these options - the capacity is there, use it.
  • Flexi-Tickets - half-season tickets are already offered, a five game ticket has been offered - more of these kind of initiatives to get fans back into the habit of coming to Ewood
  • Family Tickets - more competitively-priced offerings including children
  • Gym-Style Memberships - say, Platinum, Gold, Silver packages - each proposition offers benefits step up dependent upon the level selected. This could include elements of merchandise, catering, concourse, Rovers TV offerings, over and above a standard seat.
  • Unreserved Seating Area - allow season ticket holders in this area to bring guests in, first-come, first-seated.

Apparently many of these ideas have been suggested to the club by Rovers Trust already but as of yet, without breaking through to become real-life offerings.


The challenge for the club and its marketing team is of course immense - there is a rump of the support that is intensely loyal, is the bedrock of the club and can be relied upon to buy the standard season ticket. The risk of cannibalising that fanbase is not to be sneezed at, but equally, the danger of carrying on doing what has always been done, in the way it has always been done carries its own risks. A younger generation of potential Rovers supporters may well slip through the net. 


A full ground creates a spectacle for the fans in the stadium, influences the players and of course, adds to the enjoyment of the TV audience when games are selected. A packed stadium opens up other opportunities to cross-sell; better pre-match fan-zone & concourse offerings, a slicker retailing operation stocking merchandise that is appealing to all demographics and up-selling the lounge offerings.


Paying a lump sum up-front for a seat for home league games worked in the 1970s - but we are in the Web 3.0, contactless payment, e-commerce, blockchain, subscription world - is it still truly fit for purpose ? 

Let us have YOUR views on our thread right HERE.



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